Have you ever been bored with your workout? Do you get tired of hearing the word exercise? I like exercise because I know the value of exercise and I’ve seen many people over the years improve their health by exercising. If you don’t like exercise, maybe you’ll like some of these NEAT ideas.
According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), our total daily energy expenditure (how we burn or expend calories) can be organized into three areas. Basal metabolic rate (BMR), also known as our resting metabolic rate, accounts for about 60-75% of our total daily energy expenditure. The thermic effect of food is the energy our body uses to change food into more energy or move it to a location to be stored as fat and be used for energy later. This makes up about 10% of our total daily energy expenditure. The thermic effect of physical activity accounts for about 15-30% of our daily energy expenditure and has two types of activities. Planned exercise is one type. Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT) is the other type and is very important.
NEAT activities can be very helpful in maximizing the total amount of calories burned daily and can help you reach your health and weight-loss goals. Here’s a few ways NEAT activities can help, courtesy of ACE.
Standing. Standing is a form of NEAT that can help you increase your daily calories burned. Being sedentary for long periods of time can reduce levels of Lipoprotein lipase (LPL), an enzyme that helps to convert fat into energy. NEAT activities that keep us moving consistently during the day can help maintain LPL.
Daily steps. Adding steps to your day is NEAT. The U.S. Department of Health recommends 10,000 steps a day.
Walk or bike for transportation. This one is hard to do unless you live in town near points of interest. If you have to drive, try parking further away from store entrances to walk more. I do this all the time and my family used to complain but now they understand. They know that dad is a fitness trainer living the example.
Cleaning house, vehicles and yard. Do some extra chores in your day. There’s a lot of NEAT home activities. Vacuuming, weeding, and sweeping for example are so much fun when you consider the health benefits.
Play with your kids, grandkids and animals. I try to make time to play games with my kids daily. We also have a puppy that enjoys play. We chase him around the house and yard and play with him on the floor daily. That’s NEAT.
Get out of the chair and enjoy all the NEAT times in your day. Here’s to your great health.
Jonathan Souder is the Fitness Director at Manor House, an Acts Retirement-Life Community in Seaford, Delaware. This column appeared in the December 7, 2017 edition of the Seaford Star.